Great fishing section

hayden meadows


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hayden meadows overview

Near its headwaters, the Arkansas River flows mildly through a broad glacial-born valley. This shallow meadow stream section of the Arkansas River passes several ranches that have been held privately since the homesteading days. Only recently opened to the public, this section is navigable, but seldom boated.

Recommended For: Float fishing trips.

Recommended White Water Rafting Trips on Hayden Meadows – Arkansas River:
At this time we do not have information on outfitters that offer Hayden Meadows as a commercial whitewater rafting trip.

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the Hayden Meadows section of the Arkansas. Information regarding this section on this website is strictly informational. We start rafting just downstream! Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

hayden meadows sections

Arkansas River – Hayden Meadows White Water Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class I-II (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 9285′ to 8931′
Average Gradient: 33.7′ per mile

Access to Access

Hayden Meadows to Kobe: 3.8 miles
Kobe to Granite: 6.7 miles
Total Mileage: 10.5 miles

Notes: There is a lot of private land here with shallow gravel bars. Be careful.



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for Arkansas River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Arkansas River is in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: On the off chance you do not use a developed AHRA Recreation Site, no fee of any kind is required to float the river.

Arkansas River – Hayden Meadows Access Details:

  • Sites: Hayden Meadows, Kobe and Granite Recreation Sites
  • Instructions: Follow signage at recreation sites.
  • Fee: Annual or daily permits are required to use these sites. Those without passes will be ticketed.
  • Where to Buy: Annual Permits can be purchased through AHRA in Salida or Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices in Denver, but most people use the self-serve daily pay stations at AHRA managed access points.
  • Contact: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA)
    307 W Sackett Street, Salida, CO 81201 ~ 719-539-7289

We do not have information on any entity that offers shuttles on this section. We recommend traveling with at least two vehicles in order to run your own shuttle.

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